New Year’s Resolutions

2018-12-28-new-years-resolution

It’s that time again …

Every year around this time I have a joke that I recycle when I am on the radio.  Basically, I say that I am going to make some New Years Resolutions I can actually keep.  I then proceed to list how I am (1) going to gain 20-30 pounds (2) live paycheck to paycheck (3) procrastinate more and (4) personally bring back Disco.  The last one usually changes from year to year, but disco is what I used on the air this year.

In all seriousness, a recent study shows that most New Year’s Resolutions are broken by January 12th.  Wow, only 12 days!  I guess I can see that, especially if the resolutions are biggies.  I have learned that it is important to keep resolutions easy and attainable.  While I would love to lose about 100 pounds, I’ll be happy if I lose 20.

I do have some resolutions that I am planning to put in place for the new year and I think that many of them are reasonably attainable.  Some say that you should only make a few resolutions, but I have made a list of many.  I figure with a lot of them, if I achieve a couple, that’s a win!

I Resolve

  • Make More Lists.  Hey, look at that!  I am already starting on my resolutions and it’s not even 2019!  I have found that I am forgetting things. I used to make fun of people who made lists, but I now realize that those lists can help.
  • Walk More. I am not sure why I don’t do this more.  Maybe it’s because I work midnights and am tired all the time.  I don’t know.  I love to walk.  I just need to do it more.  Time to make time.
  • Exercise/Be Active.  Ok, technically, this goes with “walk more”.  I’m hoping that walking more will lead me to this one.  We’ve been debating getting a gym membership for a long time.  Perhaps we just need to make it happen.
  • Make More Coffee at Home.  I probably spend way too much on coffee from Tim Horton’s.  We recently bought some awesome cups that keep coffee hot for hours.  Making coffee is really a no brainer.  It saves money and it’s always made right (nothing worse that ordering coffee from a drive thru and it is burnt or lukewarm).  My sons bought me two bags of my favorite coffee from Coffee Beanery, so I should be set for a bit.
  • Make More Meals at Home. This goes hand in hand with the above resolution.  We recently got one of those Instant Pots.  So far, we love it!  We made some amazing Potato Soup and chicken and dumplings in it already.  I see this as being extremely helpful in making foods for us to bring to work for lunch/dinner.  Again, it will also help us save money. It will also help cut out fast food.
  • Date Nights With My Wife. My wife is pretty damn amazing.  I love spending time with her and I resolve for more date nights.  Many date nights can consist of dinner or going out, but we have also enjoyed home cooked meals and time together on the couch watching movies.  I am going to make it a point of pampering her regularly in the new year.
  • More Family Time. This kind of goes with the last item, except this is more geared toward my sons, my dad, and my brother.  I have been meaning to take my sons out to learn how to golf.  My dad did that with me, and I think they might enjoy it.  I also want to throw the ball around more with them.  My dad lives an hour away, and I am resolving to do more visits to see him, whether it is just my wife and I, or with the boys.  I am also hoping to make a jaunt down to see my brother, who lives in that state with the very bland landscape – Ohio.
  • Drink More Water.  Ok, I am not stupid.  I know how drinking water helps with weight loss, blood pressure, and healthy living in general.  I, however, always seem to drink coffee…because I work midnights!  Well, I am making it a point in the new year to drink more water.  Along with that, I will plan on more visits to the bathroom to pee.
  • Read a Book a Month.  I absolutely LOVE to read!  I read a variety of genres.  I love biographies, mysteries, and historical stuff.  I have a stack of books at home that I have been meaning to read, and I am hoping to read all of them before the year is up.  This is one resolution I hope to over shoot.  I would love to read two or three books a month, if I can.  My wife and my boys got me some great books for Christmas that will probably jump to the top of the “to read” stack.
  • Give a Compliment a Day.  I know I am always glad when someone offers me a compliment.  Recently, I did a bit about Stan Lee on the radio.  My boss texted me and said how much he liked it.  The next day, one of the other jocks from another station in the building said that she had heard another bit I did on the air and said how much she was impressed by it.  Getting a compliment makes you feel good – so why not give them out often?  I plan on being generous with compliments in the new year.
  • Book a Trip. My wife and I will be celebrating one year of marriage in March.  We’re not sure where we’re going yet, but have some destinations in mind.  An anniversary trip will be booked soon!
  • Say “No” More. Very often we are pulled in many directions.  We often feel that it is necessary to agree to something, even though we really don’t want to do it.  We commit to things to make others happy and by doing so we sacrifice things that are important to us.  It’s ok to say “no”, and I plan on doing it a bit more this year.
  • Get More Sleep.  This, in itself, is a huge challenge.  With the time off over the holidays, my body has been very happy to get a decent amount of sleep.  I am really hoping to keep up that momentum and continue to get at least 6 hours every night.  This is not always easy, but I know all too well the importance of a good night’s sleep.  I work as a sleep technologist and we are forever telling patients the importance of sleep.  Time to practice what I preach.
  • Listen More/Complain Less.  Not really sure why I bunched these two together, but I did.  As I stated in a previous blog, we often don’t really listen to what people are saying to us because we are already formulating our response while they are still talking.  I am really going to try my best to listen more.  I am also very quick to complain about certain things.  Rather than complain, I am going to find the positives and focus on them.
  • Get Organized.  You know what is sad?  I actually think I am organized…..until I need to find something.  My wife will often make fun of me because I tend to sort things in “piles”.   The “to do pile”, the “to call” pile, the “not sure what to do with” pile, and so on.  I’m not sure how to do this….but I hope to figure it out within the next 12 months and am open to suggestions.
  • Expand My Vocabulary.  My friend, Johnny, gets an email with a “word of the day”.  I know there are also calendars with a “new word everyday” you can buy.  I might have to look for one.  Learning new words is just one of the things I miss about elementary school.  I always enjoyed getting a list of words and learning them.  I used to “show off” by using those new words in front of relatives!  I still try to use the word “kibitz” at least once a week!
  • Limit Phone Time.  Let’s face it, we are glued to our cell phones!  I need to remind myself that there is more to life than Memes on Facebook.  When I am home with my wife or with my kids, I am really going to try to put the phone down so that I can enjoy time with them.
  • Show My Gratitude.  “Thank You” are two words that cannot be said enough. Sadly, there are many who neglect to say them when they should.  I resolve to express my gratitude to those who help me, those who do something for me, or those who just offer a compliment or advice.  A friend of mine has what she calls a “gratitude journal”.  Every night, she writes something she is thankful for.  She then reviews it at the end of each month.  What a cool idea!  Might be interesting to actually see all the things in your life that you are grateful for on a regular basis.
  • Make “Me” Time.  A few years ago, I realized that I could not improve the other things in my life, until I started to improve “me”.  How can you make others happy when you yourself are not happy?  Finding time for yourself is such an important and overlooked thing!  Maybe that “me” time is reading a book, watching cat videos on YouTube, or cutting the grass.  Whatever it is, finding some moments for yourself is beneficial for everyone.  I will be sure to set aside “me” time often in the new year.
  • “Making a Decision on School”.  My wife basically gave me an ultimatum recently.  I have been going back and forth as to whether or not to go back to school.  This is probably the most daunting thing on my “to do” list.  It is such a big question mark!  There are so many things to consider.  I need to figure this out….and I will.
  • “Write More”.  Through the encouragement of others, I have found writing to be one of my favorite things.  My brother got me a book with creative writing topics, some of which will be future blogs.  While many blogs I write are personal, I also like to write about movies, music, and other things.  I have a feeling much of the “me” time I will have, will be spent writing.

So there they are.  That’s some list, huh?  Maybe I’ll be able to accomplish more than one of these things in 2019.  Maybe you will find something on my list to add to your list of resolutions?  I hope so.

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Now, if you can do me a favor and every once in a while ask how I am doing on my list … I’d appreciate it!

Wishing you much success and all the best in 2019!

Keith

Holiday Wake Up

As a midnight shifter, I drink a lot of coffee.  I can thank my grandfather for my love of coffee.  He gave me my first cup (mostly cream and sugar) when I was about 11 or 12.  As I grew older, I began to just drink it black.  The only time I really drank it with cream and sugar was when I went to a restaurant (because the coffee pot often sat on the burner and it often tasted burnt). My first real radio job was working 1am-5am on air and then staying and helping the morning show.  I drank a lot of black coffee back then!

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I could be wrong, but back then, I don’t really recall flavored coffee being a thing.  There may have been some creamers that were flavored like hazelnut and French vanilla, but that was it.  Mostly, though, if you used creamer – it was half and half.  I don’t even remember when I tried flavored coffee or even what flavor it was the first time I tried it.  What I do remember is that I wasn’t really sold on it.

I don’t think I would refer to myself as a coffee connoisseur in any means, but I do love it!  I can drink it almost any time.  I think, to a degree, I drink coffee to stay awake (when I work).  However, I also like to drink coffee for the taste of it.  To me, “a delicious cup of coffee” (as my friend Donnie P used to say) is the perfect companion to a good book or movie.

A Holiday Favorite

I don’t know how many years ago it was, but I was in the mall doing some early Christmas shopping.  That was when I first discovered The Coffee Beanery.  I remember walking in and seeing a board that listed the coffees that were brewed and ready to serve and one stuck out to me.  Cinnamon Holiday Blend.  I love cinnamon, so I thought I would taste it and see how it was.

I have to tell you – it was delicious!  I asked for a cup and went about my shopping, enjoying this cup of coffee the entire time.  It was so good that I had to go back and get another cup before leaving the mall.  I then found out that you could but bags of it there, so naturally, I had to do just that.

For years, whenever the kids asked what I wanted for Christmas, I had a simple answer for them – coffee.  It was the perfect gift!  It wasn’t a tie that would just hang in the closet and maybe get pulled out once a year.  It wasn’t some cheap gift bought at the secret Santa shop from school.  It was a gift that they knew I would use and enjoy!  It’s a given now – buy dad some coffee.

I try to buy an extra bag or two when I know that it is out, so I can make myself a pot every couple of weeks or at least once a month until it is once again available.  I have found that when you add Italian Sweet Cream creamer to it – it is even more delicious!

According to the Coffee Beanery website, the blend contains spices, almonds, and cinnamon.  Blended together, this is one amazing coffee.  One year I went to buy it and there was a woman there telling  the cashier that her holidays are not complete without this Cinnamon Holiday Blend.  I told her I felt the same way!  She said it is a highlight for her family at Christmas dinner.

I have yet to get out and grab a bag this year.  There was a bit of a delay in that the store, which was located in the mall, was in the process of moving to a new building across the street from the mall.  They are finally open and with the next paycheck, I may have to go up and grab a bag or two!

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The Cinnamon Holiday Blend from Coffee Beanery is probably my favorite coffee of all time!  Don’t be fooled by the various “holiday coffees” served by other places like a co-worker of mine was!  She came in one night and said, “I bought that holiday coffee you were talking about.”   It was some expensive coffee from one of those other places and it tasted like strong burnt coffee with a pinch of someone’s dirty underwear!  URGH!!!

Coffee Beanery did not pay me to promote this coffee – this is a sincere and truthful blog about one of the things I absolutely look forward to each and every holiday season.  Stop in and try some – I think you will enjoy it!

 

 

 

“A delicious cup of coffee …”

Coffee

I had my first cup of coffee at 12 years old.  I use the term “coffee” here loosely because my grandpa made it for me.  It was probably 1/4 coffee and 3/4 cream and sugar.  Coffee was a staple at my grandparents house.  They drank it all the time.  Whenever we went over there for holidays, all the adults were drinking it and eventually, I had asked to try it.  My grandfather obliged and I have been drinking it ever since.

Grandma used to use an old percolator to brew her coffee.  She tried a drip coffee make once, but she said it didn’t taste right.  I tend to agree with her.  There is something about a cup of coffee that has been brewed in a percolator that just tastes better.  Sadly, drip coffee makers seem to be the way most folks brew now.  When I got married, there was only one thing that I really wanted on the registry – a percolator.  I was lucky that my buddy Billy got it for me.  It lasted 13 years, and then finally perked it’s last pot.  I have yet to go get another one – but I plan on it!

Coffee brings back many memories for me.  First of all, I drank it all the time when I worked on the air at my first radio station job.  Working overnights, it was the fuel that kept me going.  Radio in 1989 was a bit different than it is today.  The DJ’s talked more.  We were an all request station, so we would be talking to listeners and taking requests throughout the show.  Coffee helped soothe my throat, at least I felt that it did.  Back then I used to always drink it black – nice and hot.

Speaking of radio, one of the first people I met in Radio, Donnie P., used to drink as much coffee as I did.  We’d spend many hours talking over coffee about radio, religion, family, and politics.  When Don finally got a Facebook page, there would almost always be a weekly status update that said he was “enjoying a delicious cup of coffee”.  Even though he passed away a few years ago, I remember him and our chats fondly as I drink coffee.

Another coffee memory involves, yet again, my grandparents.  I remember going over to their house with Joe, Steve, or Jeff to play pinochle many times.  Often their would be cookies, brownies, or Long John coffee cake, and of course, fresh coffee.  We’d sometimes go through two pots between the four of us.  I miss playing pinochle – especially with them.

When I decided to go back to college, I rarely studied without coffee.  As a matter of fact, I often studied in coffee shops, or in the college cafe (where I knew I could always get a cup).  I know that I would have never been able to stay up and study without it.  When my clinicals started, I was doing 12 hours there, and had classes full time.  How in the world would I have made it with out it?!

Since graduating from college, I have been working the midnight shift.  That’s what a sleep tech does.  I watch people sleep and help diagnose sleep disorders.  Once again, coffee is what keeps me going, especially on nights where I wasn’t able to sleep much prior to coming in (Hey, it’s hard to sleep when the rest of the world is wide awake!). We recently moved into a new building and they neglected to put in the water line for the coffee maker.  We kept the local 7-11 busy on those nights!

I sat down in front of the computer debating what to write about today.  Right next to me was a cup of fresh brewed coffee in my “World’s Best Boss” mug that was given to me by a guy I worked with.   That’s all it took.

My coffee is getting cold, but let me end with a quote that is appropriate for this blog entry:  “Everybody should believe in something.  I believe I’ll have another cup of coffee” – Author unknown